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March 18, 2013

 WINNIPEG: As the first Canadian city to host this international meeting, Winnipeg welcomes the world at the 21st World Conference of GLBT Jews, July 5 – 7, 2013, at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

Conference Partners- The World Congress of GLBT Jews: Keshet Ga’avah, Anakhnu Jewish GLBT Group, Rady Jewish Community Centre, Congregation Shaarey Zedek and Temple Shalom are thrilled to present this weekend featuring local, national and international speakers, entertainers and special guests.

“We are excited to show off Winnipeg’s famous hospitality and demonstrate our world-renowned reputation as a first-class host for international conferences and events”,notes Conference Co-Chair Arthur Blankstein.

The World Congress of GLBT Jews" Keshet Ga’avah" (“Rainbow of Pride”), is made up of member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The vision of the organization is to nurture an environment where Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling lives.

Conference Co-Chair, Paula Parks, attended the 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with Blankstein. “We thought that someday, it would be great to bring this international gathering to Winnipeg”, recalls Parks. “Well, that ‘someday’ is here!” The local organizing committee recognized that with the development of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the meeting of this organization here in Manitoba is ‘bashert’ (Yiddish for ‘meant to be’) and as such, promoted Winnipeg as the place to celebrate diversity.

The Winnipeg Conference kicks off with a Professional Development Day on Friday, July 5th for the GLBT community-at-large, educators, employers, clergy and spiritual leaders, social service professionals and friends and family of the GLBT community.

The Conference officially opens Friday evening, July 5th with approximately 200 attendees who will be educated, enlightened and entertained with internationally-renowned keynote speakers: Joy Ladin (Through the Door of Life), Jay Michaelson (God vs Gay? The Religious Case for Equality), and Leslea Newman (Heather Has Two Mommies, A Letter to Harvey Milk). Other Conference highights include seminar sessions, a Friday evening Sabbath dinner and celebration, Saturday morning multi-sector Sabbath services, a grand finale banquet and a post-Conference tour of the City.

Visit www.keshetldorvdor for the Conference schedule, speakers and entertainers. Register online before April 1st and save $75 on Conference registration.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.